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Ioannes Paulus PP. II
Ecclesia in Africa

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  • CHAPTER V
    • I. Agents of evangelization
      • 92
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The family

92. The Synod launched an explicit appeal for each African Christian family to become "a privileged place for evangelical witness",174 a true "domestic church",175 a community which believes and evangelizes,176 a community in dialogue with God 177 and generously open to the service of humanity.178 "It is in the heart of the family that parents are by word and example ... the first heralds of the faith with regard to their children".179 "It is here that the father of the family, the mother, children, and all members of the family exercise the priesthood of the baptized in a privileged way ?by the reception of the sacraments, prayer and thanksgiving, the witness of a holy life and self- denial and active charity'. Thus the home is the first school of Christian life and ?a school for human enrichment' ".180

Parents are to see to the Christian education of their children. With the practical help offered by strong, serene and committed Christian families, Dioceses will develop a programme for the family apostolate as part of their overall pastoral plan. The Christian family, as a "domestic Church" built on the solid cultural pillars and noble values of the African tradition of the family, is called upon to be a powerful nucleus of Christian witness in a society undergoing rapid and profound changes. The Synod felt this challenge with a particular urgency because the Church was then celebrating the Year of the Family with the rest of the international community.




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